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The DiSC Connection: Intro

Understanding yourself is the first step towards becoming more effective at connecting with others.

My favorite tool/model in helping to understand myself and how I relate to others is William Marston’s DiSC Model (1972).  I was first introduced to DiSC 10 yrs ago while I was managed a call center team of over 100 sales representatives.  A year later I was certified in DiSC Personality Assessment.

Marston developed a theory that people illustrate their behaviors via four different personality styles.  William Clarke, a psychologist, then constructed these into the famous DiSC model we study today.  Imagine a pie divided up into four slices.  Below are the four main personality styles that complete Clarke’s DiSC pie chart.

D = Dominance

i = Influential

C = Conscientious

S = Submissive

In my next four blogs I will dive deep into each one of these behavior styles.  The first step is to understand within which behavior quadrant(s) you belong.  The second step is how to identify another person’s behavioral style and the third step is how to leverage your personality style with your perception of another person’s style in order to connect better with them.  Sound productive?   It’s a long-learning process that takes years of attention and focus but it works!

Interesting Side Note:  I’m a HUGE comic book fan so I must mention that William Marston (pen name Charles Moulton) was not only a psychologist but also a comic book writer and the creator of Wonder Woman.  Marston was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.


Tips on Connecting Outside of your Comfort Zone

Let’s dig a little deeper into connect and interacting with others, particularly strangers.

Obviously, most of us gravitate towards people with a similar style of communicating or towards people with whom we share something in common.  But its important to learn how to positively and productively interact with people outside of our comfort zone.  It’s all about learning how to nimbly shift your normal every-day interests in order to adapt and make interesting conversation with others.

Just remember (and we’ve talked about this in previous blogs) DON’T BE FAKE.  You’ve got to learn to show genuine interest with another person is talking.  Even if there seems to be no genuine interest in what the other person chooses to discuss, you need to somehow meet them half-way.  Embracing one another’s differences will help you grow as an individual.  After all, how dull would life be if we were all the same?

Here are some connecting tips:

#1  Try and look at the conversation through their lens

#2  Find out what motivates them to enjoy their chosen topic of discussion

#3  Find out what their personal history is behind that motivation

Inquiring may uncover a commonality that could be used to bridge a single-sided conversation into a mutually enjoyed one.

Next time you encounter a group of people, challenge yourself to gravitate towards a stranger (or even more challenging a group of strangers). Explore ways to adapt and expand your interests to build new relationships.  Our world is communicating more and more via social media and instant messaging and less and less via face-to-face.  Learning how to connect with different people will help give you a competitive edge in social environments as the generations to come moving less and less towards face-to-face interactions at a rapid pace.

Your ability to effectively connect with individuals and/or groups will leave an inspirational impression on them.  You will be more remembered by those individuals or groups versus those parties who failed to find a way to connect.